31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog (31WBGB): Week 1 – The Elevator Pitch

The Elevator Pitch. A short, snazzy way to describe and promote yourself or your business. The thesis sentence of good marketing. The first of 31 activities laid out in the 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog  challenge by Tonia over at Tonia’s Roots.

It was amazingly difficult.

I started off with little more than cute phrases that belong on a genealogy bumper sticker, not a serious business card.

  • My ancestors crossed the continent and all they brought me was this skeletal GEDCOM!
  • Genealogists seek dead people (inspired by the famous line from the Sixth Sense movie).
  • Can I get a battering ram for this brick wall?
  • And so on.

Though I do love a bit of irreverent humor, I really thought I could do a little better by this challenge, so I wiped the Word Document clean and started over. This time, I thought about what I love most about genealogy, why I do it and why I believe it’s worth doing. What I ended up with is still too long. Also,  irreverence also crept back into it. But one of my mottos for life is that it’s too short not to laugh, so it’s no wonder that sentiment crept into the motto I was trying to write for my genealogy. In the end, what I came up with was this:

The most intoxicating mystery is our own history, a unique story centuries in the making. The more elusive the ancestor, the more enthralling my search, even though there’s no presidents in my past,  no great artists or movie stars. Instead, there’s generations of hard-working, rough-around-the-edges, often-illiterate pioneers and farmers, tailors, soldiers, slave-holders, abolitionists, and merchants of any possible creed. Simple folk, many of whose forefathers arrived here before America was even conceived of. I never get to use naturalization records; my people never went through Ellis Island. In fact, they were probably running it. But that doesn’t make me any more American than anyone else;  it just makes me in awe of the people who helped build this country – people I get to call my own thanks to studying my family history. Genealogy? Yeah, it’s addictive, and since I can’t stop, I’m transitioning from hobbyist to professional genealogist. After all,  how many other jobs reward you for excellence in stalking dead people?

Horrible? Not bad? Let me know what you think.

© 2011, copyright Genealady & JustFolks

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